Arakan Army Releases Civilians Seized in Raid on Myanmar’s Border Police

By Min Aung Khine 1 June 2020

Sittwe, Rakhine State — The Arakan Army (AA) has released two women and a child whom the armed group abducted during an attack on a Border Guard Police outpost in Rakhine State’s Rathedaung Township on Friday.

The AA troops handed the three civilians to Auk Kyaungtaung village elders in the township on Friday evening and they were taken to Zedi Pyin police station.

“I heard the AA gave travel expenses and released two women and a girl that are relatives of some of the police officers and that they have arrived in Zedi Pyin. I don’t know more details,” the village administrator of Thein Taung in Rathedaung Township told The Irrawaddy.

A map released by Myanmar’s military showing the location of the attack. /Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services

Myanmar’s military or Tatmadaw confirmed that four police officers were killed and six others went missing as well as three of their relatives after the AA’s attack at around 2am on Friday.

Thazin Myaing villagers have since fled their homes.

The border police at Thazin Myaing were overrun by heavily armed rebel troops and forced to abandon their outpost and join security forces nearby at around 5am, military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said.

On Jan. 4, 2019, the AA attacked four Border Guard Police outposts in Buthidaung Township. It also attacked Yoe Tayoke police station in Ponnagyun Township on March 3, and a battalion near Koe Thaung temple in Mrauk-U on April 10, 2019, and a police outpost in Buthidaung Township on July 16.

The AA detained the relatives of the police officers after the attacks but released them later.

The rebel group stated on Friday that its latest attack was in retaliation for a recent military attack on a temporary medical shelter for injured AA members in Chin State’s Paletwa Township.

The AA has accused the police of assisting military operations, saying artillery attacks are launched from police outposts.

In January, four border guards from the Thazin Myaing outpost were robbed of their December salaries on their return from Zedi Pyin police station in Rathedaung Township with the wages. Two of the four border guards went missing.

Within hours of Friday’s attacks, the AA’s ally, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), intercepted a military convoy in northern Shan State. The TNLA said it destroyed military trucks and seized weapons.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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